Biography of James Hurst

 James Hurst was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina on January 1st, 1922. He grew up on a coastal farm. After attending Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia, he went on to study chemical engineering at North Carolina State College. His career trajectory changed, though, after he served in World War II; following his service, he decided he wanted to be an opera singer, so he studied at both the Julliard School of Music in New York and in Italy. Hurst continued as an opera singer for three years until 1951, when he decided he lacked the necessary talent and instead became a banker in New York. This occupation lasted for 34 years. He died at the age of 91 in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 2013.

In his spare time Hurst wrote short stories and plays, but The Scarlet Ibis was the only work of his that became famous. This story was originally published in the July 1960 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, but it gained recognition immediately by critics and now appears in literature textbooks all across the United States. 

Study Guides on Works by James Hurst

"The Scarlet Ibis" is a short story written by James Hurst, first published in The Atlantic Monthlyin July 1960. It is the first and only piece by Hurst to come to prominence and reach a wide audience, but it has had a profound effect on the...